It’s been a few days since I’ve posted anything, I have no better excuse that it’s taken me a while to catch up with all the games I’ve PVR’d. What I can say overall is that the scenario of being in a came and losing it in the final 5 minutes, or being behind by one goal and not being able to score with the goalie pulled — and losing — is the best possible outcome for the Flames and our rebuild.
Race for the draft pick lottery
First of all, Sports Club Stats has the odds of the Flames making the playoffs this year at 0.8%. So let’s move right to the conversation on tanking.
Calgary is second last in the league, one point below both Edmonton and Winnipeg. However Calgary has three games in-hand on the Oilers, so unless they lose all three, chances are we’ll be ahead of Edmonton before too long.
Since last-place Toronto is six points below Calgary, there is little chance the Flames are going to ‘catch’ them for the best shot at the first overall pick. However even if you finish last, your odds of picking first are just 1-in-5. Then the odds for teams 29th through 20th overall begin at 13.5% and go down to 5%. So really your odds of getting that pick are similar if you finish in the bottom handful of teams.
If the season were to end today, Calgary has a 11.5% chance of winning the pick.
Here are the projected top-five picks, according to Sportsnet:
1. Auston Matthews, C, Zurich (Swiss) 6-2, 195 lb.
Passed on the NCAA and the WHL to go to Europe and has six goals in first eight games.
2. Jakob Chychrun, D, Sarnia (OHL) 6-2, 194 lb.
Has recovered from off-season shoulder surgery. Is a physically dominant player with offensive talent.
3. Matthew Tkachuk, LW, London (OHL) 6-1, 188 lb.
Just like his dad: A prototypical power left winger. Chose the Knights over the University of Notre Dame.
4. Patrik Laine, LW, Tampere (Finland) 6-4, 210 lb.
Has an NHL shot now and scouts are already talking about how he plays with an Esa Tikkanen-like edge.
5. Julien Gauthier, C, Val d’Or (QMJHL) 6-4, 221 lb.
Seven goals in 10 games to start his third campaign in the “Q”. Had 38 last season.
San Jose Sharks at Calgary Flames preview
The San Jose Sharks are 2-1-1 against the Calgary Flames this year, who won 6-5 in a shootout at SAP Center on Feb. 11 in their most recent game.
After a 4-2 home loss to the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday ended a three-game winning streak, coach Pete DeBoer is hoping the Sharks can bounce back against the two teams with the fewest points in the Western Conference – San Jose plays Edmonton afterwards.
Goaltender Joni Ortio is expected to start after he got his first NHL victory since Jan. 19, 2015, in a 4-2 win against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday. Ortio has allowed 13 goals and has a .914 save percentage in his past five games.
Let’s recap the trip
Calgary Flames 4 – Pittsburgh Penguins 2
Calgary ended a 7-game losing streak when they fought back from two one-goal deficits to defeat the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-2 at Consol Energy Center on Saturday. Ortio finally won a game this year, Joni Ortio made 29 saves to earn his first win in 10 appearances this seasons (1-6-2).
Buffalo Sabres 6 – Calgary Flames 3
The Buffalo Sabres are 10-0-2 against the Flames since Calgary’s last win in Buffalo since 1996. Marcus Foligno had a goal and two assists and Jack Eichel scored his 18th goal of the season to help the Sabres to a 6-3 win against the Flames at First Niagara Center on Thursday.
Boston Bruins 2 – Calgary Flames 1
Patrice Bergeron scored a tie-breaking power-play goal with 3:24 remaining in the third period to give the Boston Bruins a 2-1 win against the Calgary Flames at TD Garden on Tuesday.
Calgary was assessed a bench minor for having too many men on the ice with 4:07 to play. The Bruins’ power play had been 0-for-4 and hadn’t scored in a goal in Boston’s previous four games. But Bergeron capitalized on Boston’s fifth chance of the night when he beat Joni Ortio with a one-timer.